Talk to coun­cil about cul­tural area

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Rachel Can­ning

‘Let’s Talk’ is the mes­sage from Taupo¯ District Coun­cil about the pro­pos­als for the Cul­tural Precinct.

The four pro­pos­als were pre­sented to 330 mostly older peo­ple at a pub­lic meet­ing held last week, and con­sul­tant ar­chi­tect Shan­non Joe of War­ren & Ma­honey said the con­sul­ta­tion work done so far had pro­duced valu­able re­sults.

“We’ve got 52 pages of con­sul­ta­tion. This led to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of 16 points.

“The next step is to come up with a mas­ter­plan for a cul­tural precinct to cre­ate a place we can call home, a place that we can call our own.”

Shan­non ex­plained that the con­sul­ta­tion process had iden­ti­fied things peo­ple want a cul­tural precinct to be: fam­ily friendly, give a sense of place, a sense of leg­i­bil­ity, value for money and mul­ti­func­tional. The con­sul­ta­tion had also iden­ti­fied things peo­ple didn’t want the cul­tural precinct to be: ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings, carpark­ing and a loss of green space.

As part of his pre­sen­ta­tion Shan­non said that it was his opin­ion that Boat Har­bour and the beach needs to be easier to find, that there needs to be a bet­ter con­nec­tion be­tween the town and the lake, and that the de­sign needs to ad­dress the ‘wall’ along Ton­gariro St that ef­fec­tively splits the town in half.

“The pre­vail­ing wind is very strong. We have got to come up with a de­sign that’s good on a windy day,” said Shan­non.

A ques­tion and an­swer fol­lowed, with the au­di­ence fo­cus­ing on whether or not the cul­tural precinct should con­tain ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings to which Shan­non re­sponded by ask­ing the au­di­ence whether they were ready for change. The over­whelm­ing re­sponse was ‘yes’. He then asked if they wanted a cul­tural precinct to which only one third of the au­di­ence re­sponded ‘yes’.

Oth­ers who are in sup­port of ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings be­ing in­cluded in the cul­tural precinct area said it was im­por­tant to cre­ate a civic heart, and that lo­cat­ing coun­cil work­ers there would cre­ate ac­tiv­ity and en­cour­age com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

The mood at the meet­ing was mostly against the pro­posal, in con­trast to a meet­ing with busi­ness and re­tail­ers the evening be­fore, where the re­cep­tion was mainly pos­i­tive.

Peo­ple were keen to see more vi­brancy in the area, more peo­ple and the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a civic heart for Taupo¯ if is­sues such as car park­ing, po­lice ac­cess and traf­fic flow could be dealt with ad­e­quately.

Pho­tog­ra­pher and Taupo¯ Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try board mem­ber Jeremy Bright, who was at the busi­ness con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing, said peo­ple could get past the is­sues that needed to be re­solved and see the op­por­tu­nity that ex­isted to tap into ex­tra fund­ing from govern­ment and other sources.

“The buy­ing power with a cul­tural cen­tre and arts cen­tre is hugely in­creased. We can all see that and we want it.”

Once a de­ci­sion has been made on the pre­ferred op­tion of the four pre­sented, then the com­mu­nity will have an op­por­tu­nity to con­sider it against two other stand­alone coun­cil build­ing con­cepts.

All four of the cul­tural precinct op­tions will use some of the ex­ist­ing build­ings in the area, in­clud­ing the Great Lake Cen­tre and li­brary, and strengthen the green open spa­ces and the con­nec­tions with one an­other to cre­ate new pub­lic ar­eas for the com­mu­nity.

The op­tions all in­clude a new mu­seum and a build­ing for coun­cil’s ad­min­is­tra­tion func­tions.

Car park­ing will be merged into the land­scape de­sign and lo­cated as clus­ters within the site and on the bound­ing roads.

■ Make your thoughts known. You can make an on­line sub­mis­sion at www.sur­vey­mon­ r/GCWHN8Y or col­lect a sub­mis­sion form from the Taupo¯ District Coun­cil ser­vice cen­tre at 46 Horo­matangi St, next to the Post Shop.

Photo / Sup­plied

The coun­cil is ask­ing for the com­mu­nity’s views on the four op­tions for a pro­posed cul­tural precinct on the Ton­gariro Do­main.

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